It's one of the most memorable moments of Princess Diana's life, captured forever in a series of incredible photos: the night the Princess of Wales danced with actor John Travolta at President Reagan's White House reception in 1985. But according to a new documentary called The Last 100 Days of Diana, the mother-of-two actually wanted to dance with a completely different man that night.
Her former butler tells the documentary that she was eyeing ballet dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was also invited to the VIP bash. As an aspiring ballerina in her formative years, the royal was in awe of the American Ballet principal dancer.
"Nancy and Ronny Reagan set up the press to take a picture of her dancing with John Travolta. She said, 'I didn't really want to dance with him, though. I wanted to dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov because he is my hero,'" Paul Burrell explains on the upcoming special.
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It's not the first time loose-lipped Paul has made these claims. In 2006, he revealed in one of his many tell-all books, The Way We Were, that Diana had apparently confided to him: "John Travolta was a gentleman and absolutely charming, but he wasn't my chosen partner."
Paul, who has been black-listed by the royal family following countless explosive interviews about the late Princess, went on to say she'd had a pretty underwhelming encounter years earlier when she asked Mikhail for his autograph backstage at a London theater.
"He had signed it without looking at her," Paul pens in his book.
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Coming full circle, Paul said at the White House dinner it was Mikhail who handed Diana a menu to sign, but the English beauty had other ideas.
"She wanted to dance with Baryshnikov," Paul pens.
Neither John nor Mikhail have commented on Paul's latest account of events, but in a previous interview with Dutch channel Één, John had a pretty glowing memory of his royal encounter.
"My memory of that is that I didn't know or expect to dance with Lady Diana, and it was the President's wife, Nancy Reagan, who said it was her wish," the Saturday Night Fever star recounts.
"We were at the White House, and at midnight, I had to tap on her shoulder and I had to say, 'Would you care to dance?' She turned around and dipped her head in that Lady Diana way, and we were off for 15 minutes dancing."
"I know for a fact that it was her highlight in being in the United States," the now 63-year-old admitted. "It was her favorite moment. I feel like I made her life better, and she made my life better."
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Whether or not these rumors are true, there's no denying how stunning Princess Di looked that evening.
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This post was written by Bella Brennan. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.
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